Dr. Youngran Park

Dr. Park received her Ph.D. in Pathobiology from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at JHU. She received Pathology Young Investigator Day Award at 2016 and 2017 for her study of ARID1A function in DNA repair. She strongly believes the spirit of translational research is to alleviate human suffering through research.

How do adolescent girls and boys perceive symptoms suggestive of endometriosis among their peers?

Endometriosis, a chronic condition characterized by cells similar to the uterine lining that exist outside of the uterus, is estimated to impact 10% of women of reproductive age. In the USA, that approximates to some 7.4 million women. Endometriosis has been documented to adversely impact multiple aspects of women and girls’ lives. Despite growing recognition that endometriosis symptoms often begin in adolescence, research with adolescent populations is scarce. Thus, Dr. Gupta’s group from George Mason University aims to qualitatively examine…

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Elevated levels of adrenomedullin in eutopic endometrium and plasma from women with endometriosis.

Endometriosis is a common gynecologic disease characterized by the presence of endometrial tissue outside of the eutopic endometrium, commonly in the peritoneum of the pelvis and in pelvic organs, and often causing scarring and pain. The nonspecific nature of endometriosis symptoms makes the disease difficult to diagnose, and confident diagnosis usually requires visualization of ectopic lesions during surgical exploration. Recently, Kim et al. and others demonstrated that the IL-6–STAT3–HIF1A pathway is strongly implicated in the pathophysiology of endometriosis. Both STAT3…

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A prospective cohort study examining meat and fish consumption and endometriosis risk.

Endometriosis is a benign, estrogen-dependent, gynecologic condition with a prevalence of ~10% in women of reproductive age. There has been an increased interest in the identification of modifiable risk factors for endometriosis including diet. Diet may influence endometriosis risk through its influence on steroidal hormones. For example, red meat has been shown to decrease sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) and increase estradiol concentrations, while fish oil has been associated with lower circulating levels of series prostaglandins and decreased inflammatory symptoms, as…

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Endometriosis in a Man as a Rare Source of Abdominal Pain

Endometriosis occurs when a tissue resembling endometrial glands and stroma grows in ectopic sites, commonly causing infertility and pain. Endometriosis has largely been found in women of reproductive age. However, in extremely rare cases, it is also found in men with a total of 16 cases previously reported in the literature. In male endometriosis cases, it was most commonly found attached to the bladder, lower abdominal wall, and inguinal region. In this paper, published in Case Reports in Obstetrics and…

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How Artificial Intelligence Can Improve Our Understanding of the Genes Associated with Endometriosis.

Endometriosis is a disease characterized by the development of endometrial tissue outside the uterus. A number of studies have shown that endometriosis could have a genetic basis and numerous genes have been studied and proposed to help explain its pathogenesis. However, the large number of these candidate genes has made functional validation through experimental methodologies nearly impossible. Artificial intelligence using text mining (TM) technology has recently been implemented, enabling the automated retrieval of all candidate genes for a specific disease…

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Non-coding RNAs in endometriosis

The pathophysiological mechanisms causing the development of endometriosis, which is a heterogeneous disease remain enigmatic, and a lack of effective biomarkers necessitates surgical intervention for diagnosis. Non-coding RNA (ncRNA) molecules, which are important regulators of cellular function, have been implicated in many chronic conditions. In endometriosis, transcriptome profiling of tissue samples and functional in-vivo and in vitro studies demonstrate that ncRNAs are key contributors to the disease process. In this review, Dr. Panir group from Women’s and Children’s Hospital Adelaide in Australia…

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Exosomal miR-214 from endometrial stromal cells inhibits endometriosis fibrosis.

Fibrosis is an important pathological feature of endometriosis. Novel therapies targeting the mechanisms of fibrosis in endometriosis are indispensable for the development of strategies to prevent and treat endometriosis. Previous microarray studies have detected some miRNAs that are aberrantly expressed in endometriosis. miR-214, one of the miRNAs down-regulated in human endometriotic cyst stromal cells (ECSCs), is known to have fibrosis-suppressor roles, including the inhibition of fibroblast proliferation, collagen synthesis, and the epithelial-mesenchymal transition process. However, it remains unclear whether the…

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Stem cell therapy for the premature ovarian failure 

Premature ovarian failure (POF) is one of the common disorders found in women. The cause of POF is not fully known, but various factors have been suggested. In genetically, X and autosomes chromosome abnormalities could result in some POF. The defects in the steroidogenic pathway and environmental factors including viral infections and smoking can attribute to POF. Furthermore, autoimmune diseases such as Addison’s, disease and vitiligo, are associated with POF. As a result of the complexity of POF, different remedies…

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Endometrial stem cells and Endometriosis

Human endometrium is a cyclically proliferative tissue, and this monthly regeneration is likely mediated by endometrial stem (or progenitor) cells.The upper functional layer of the endometrium breaks down and is shed into the uterine cavity during menstruation. Re-epithelialization and repair of the endometrium is a rapid scar-free process, and re-epithelialization is rapidly followed. The new functionalis layer arises from the underlying basal layer, which contains the progenitor cells required to support repetitive regeneration. The remarkable recovery of the endometrium is…

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Enhanced UGT1A1 Gene and Protein Expression in Endometriotic Lesions.

The estrogen plays an essential role in endometriosis. Lately, it is becoming evident that, besides the circulating levels of estrogens, the balance of synthesis versus inactivation (metabolism) of estrogens by intralesional steroid-metabolizing enzymes also determines the local net estrogen availability. To extend the knowledge of the role of estrogen-metabolizing enzymes in endometriosis, the group of Dr. Ferriani from the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil, investigated UGT1A1, a key uridine diphospho-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) for estrogen glucuronidation. They compared the UGT1A1 gene…

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Interleukin 6 secretion from activated macrophages promotes the migration of endometriotic epithelial cells

Endometriosis is a chronic inflammatory disease. Accumulating evidence suggests that endometriosis patients have a higher level of various inflammatory factors which are associated with the pathogenesis of the disease. Several studies have shown marked increases in macrophage populations and activity in endometriosis patients, suggesting a critical function of macrophage on establishment and progression of endometriosis. Given that endometriosis shares several features with malignant cells, M2 macrophages, tumor-associated macrophages, in endometriosis become more critical. To have a better understanding of the molecular…

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Irritable bowel syndrome and endometriosis.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and endometriosis are two diseases affecting a significant part of the female population, either together or individually, with remarkable consequences in the quality of life. Several studies suggest an epidemiological association between them. Their association may not be just an epidemiological phenomenon, but the manifestation of a pathophysiological correlation, which probably generates a mutual promotion phenomenon. In particular, both clinical entities share the presence of a chronic low-grade inflammatory state at the basis of the disease…

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The endometrial stem cell markers notch-1 and numb are associated with endometriosis. 

The pathological mechanisms of endometriosis are still poorly understood. However, stem cells have been candidates of interest because of their high proliferation potential and their ability to differentiate into multiple lineages, contributing to characteristic traits of endometriosis. Also, previous studies reported increased expression of the notch pathway-associated protein Musashi-1 in endometriosis. Given the emerging role of endometrial stem cells in the pathogenesis of endometriosis, Dr. Götte group from the University Hospital of Münster in Germany evaluated the possible role of…

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Endometriosis and its pro-fibrotic nature. 

Endometriosis is currently defined as the presence of endometrial epithelial and stromal cells at ectopic sites. However, with advances in disease knowledge, several vital issues challenge this old definition. Especially, endometrial stromal and glands have been shown to represent only a minor component of endometriotic lesions, and they are often absent in some disease forms. In rectovaginal nodules, the glandular epithelium is often not surrounded by stroma, and frequently no epithelium can be identified in the wall of ovarian endometriomas.…

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The effects of MK2206 and chloroquine combination therapy on endometriosis.

Endometriosis affects approximately 10% of women of reproductive age. A high recurrence rate after medical treatment with or without surgery is a significant clinical problem for patients with endometriosis. Establishment of a complete cure for patients with endometriosis awaits new targets and strategies. Dr. Michel Canis group from Université Clermont Auvergne previously found that MK2206 (AKT inhibitor) may induce autophagy, suggesting the inhibition of autophagy is promising for targeting endometriosis. Therefore, they hypothesized that treatment with chloroquine, an FDA approved autophagy inhibitor,…

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Inhibition of Histone methyltransferase for fighting endometriosis

Although the histone methyltransferase EZH2 and its product H3K27me3 are well studied in cancer, little is known about their role and potential as therapeutic targets in endometriosis. It has been previously reported that the endometriotic lesions are characterized by global enrichment of H3K27me3, suggesting that targeting EZH2 may be a promising option. This Puerto-Rico-USA collaborative study found that endometriotic lesions had significantly higher EZH2α nuclear immunostaining levels compared to the eutopic endometrium from controls. In some endometriotic lesions, H3K27me3 was…

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"N-myc Downstream-Regulated Gene 1" and Endometriosis.

NDRG1 is implicated in many different cellular functions such as differentiation, proliferation, migration, invasion, and vascularization. In endometriosis, NDRG1 is identified as an inhibitor of several important pathways. To focus on the potential function of NDRG1 in endometriosis, Lou et al., from Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology,  Capital Medical University, Beijing, China,  summarized the relationship between NDRG1 and endometriosis. In the process of tumorigenesis, NDRG1 modulates key signaling pathways, such as NF-κB, PI3K/AKT/mTOR, Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK, and Wnt/β-catenin signal pathway. NF-κB pathway…

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Therapeutic Roles of Statins in Gynecology and Obstetrics.

Statins are a class of drugs, which act by inhibiting the rate-limiting enzyme of cholesterol biosynthesis, which reduces lipid production. Therefore, statin has been used for the treatment of hypercholesterolemia and coronary artery disease. This study published in Reproductive Sciences performed by Zeybek et al., and the researchers from the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, The University of Texas and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, USA, summarize the literature search for articles related to statins in obstetrics and gynecology.…

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Is the presence of endometriosis associated with a survival benefit in pure ovarian clear cell carcinoma?

Ovarian clear cell carcinoma (OCCC) has been known to be associated with endometriosis for a long time. However, the impact of the presence of endometriosis around the tumor on the prognoses of women with OCCC is still controversial. To shed more light on this issue, this group designed a retrospective and dual-institutional study with a well-defined, and homogeneous study population. A total of 93 women met the inclusion criteria. Of these patients, 48 were diagnosed with OCCC arising in endometriosis,…

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Epigenetic regulation of the pathological process in endometriosis.

Epigenetic mechanisms have been recognized as important players in the development of a broad range of human diseases including endometriosis. A growing body of evidence shows that the remodeling of retrograde endometrial tissues to the ectopic endometriotic lesions involves multiple epigenetic alterations such as DNA methylation, histone modification, and microRNA expression. Therefore, in this review, the author focuses on how epigenetic regulatory factors contribute to the development and maintenance of endometriosis. First, the alteration of DNA methylation has been known to…

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